How resilient is the US-Ukraine partnership?
During Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to the White House on Wednesday, Joe Biden promised Ukraine 60 million dollars in military aid to defend itself against Russian aggression. In a final statement, both presidents described the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a "threat to Europe's energy security". However Biden said calls to halt construction were unrealistic. Zelensky can nonetheless be satisfied, according to the Ukrainian press.
Meeting more successful than expected
The results of the meeting are really quite impressive, writes political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko in NV:
“The joint declaration is a political agenda for further bilateral cooperation. ... It's a general programme which needs to be filled out with more concrete content. ... As far as I understand things, even in the president's office there were no hard and fast expectations that it would be possible to alter Biden's position on Nord Stream 2. Let's be realistic: you have to be very naïve or know nothing about politics if you think that having agreed with Merkel on a joint position on Nord Stream 2, Biden will now turn around and change everything two months later after Zelensky's visit. So there's no reason to believe that we've come out the losers here.”
US shifting away from Minsk Protocol
The Minsk Protocol aimed at settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine no longer enjoys broad support in Ukraine. 24tv.ua quotes one of the men who represented the country at the talks in Minsk who believes the US is now also distancing itself from the agreements:
“'In the joint statement there is not a single reference to the Minsk Protocol. Not one. And this despite the fact that there is a group around Biden that wants to normalise relations with Russia', Arestovych said. He is convinced that the removal of the Minsk process from the agenda precisely by this US administration is a huge defeat for Vladimir Putin. Before the meeting between Biden and Putin Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov had said: 'We will never allow Ukraine to be taken off the hook of the Minsk Protocol.' ... Well, now that hook no longer exists.”